I knew it was bad when I spoke to my husband and couldn’t bring myself to tell him I loved him. How could I say that to him when I was planning my suicide for that evening? I knew I was at rock bottom then, but I couldn’t tell anyone. What could they do about it? I needed a quick-fix, I needed to not feel this way for another day; and it was still three days till my appointment with my CPN.
The plan was fully formed in my head, and the wish to feel nothing was the strongest urge in my mind. I felt guilty, yes, but not so guilty that it was enough to discourage me from my plan. I tried to reason with myself, to think it through logically, but ended up frantic each time. The need I had to not exist tomorrow, to not have to face the office and my life, was overwhelmingly powerful.
That evening I walked home via the pharmacy and bought a pack of paracetamol. I wondered if the pharmacist could see in my eyes the pain I felt; I wished and prayed that she would recognise the look of desperation of someone who has reached the end of their tether. I even hoped she was somehow telepathic and could read my mind. She couldn’t.
It can seem somewhat contradictory that I was hoping for someone to stop me, yet hadn’t told anyone my plans. The thing about being so depressed is that you do not wish for death; you just wish to not exist, to not feel anything anymore. It doesn’t take away the guilt or the sadness over your actions. Death is still scary to someone planning suicide – it’s just that it’s less scary than facing another day of pain.
What can you say to someone in that state? All responses seem trite; ‘it gets better’ and ‘think of what you have to live for’ are meaningless words. I believed with every fibre of my soul that I was destined to spend the rest of my life in a real-world hell and chose to bet my life on death being the better option.
Looking back with the benefit of hindsight I know that what I thought was the end of my world was just another episode in the illness I live with. An experience I hope I can learn from; but there’s no guarantee that the rot won’t set in again – no guarantee that I won’t find myself in the place where I resent the people who keep me safe. There is nothing worse than being angry at your other half because they called an ambulance and want you to live, when all you want is to end the torture of living.
I hope I never return to that dark place for the rest of my life. I hope that if I do end up back at the bottom I have the strength and presence of mind to ask for help. Overall I hope I remember that things do get better; yes, it takes time but life is worth it.